Nina Hartley Shares Advice for New Porn Performers

Nov 14, 2013 9:15 AM PST

SAN FRANCISCO — There aren’t many adult performers with chops like legend Nina Hartley who can tell newbie porn performers simply and truthfully what they need to know.

And that’s exactly what the 30-year veteran has done in a column she’s penned for BDSM blog, Kinky.com.

Hartley introduces her 14-point plan in her "Letter to a New Performer" by saying that those reading the article are probably contemplating entering the industry and warns that they’ll probably make mistakes. But she also offers hard-earned advice.

Included in her key points is advice for newbies to have a plan, figure out why they want to get into adult (pay for school, etc.) and stick to it. “Be aware that Porn Is Forever, and anything you commit to camera will be in the ether always, no matter what you do later in life,” she says, adding that would-be performers should only jump in if sex is their thing.

“If your values around sex, love and relationships are on the more traditional side, this is likely not a good job choice for you,” Hartley says. She stresses that talent needs to enjoy what they’re doing — if not, it shows. “A true fan wants to see you have an authentically good time, not a pretend one. Only do acts on camera that you already like. If not, there’ll be a record of you having a shit time and the money will be spent. And if you don’t do anal, then don’t…do…anal. Just don’t. Really.”

The star also talks about getting paid fairly, financial issues and relationships in and out of the industry. And she hammers home the importance of being reliable and responsible.

Of course Hartley warns about the importance of regular testing for STDs and to watch out for talent with skin abrasions on their genitals.

Although she admits the column is only a primer, she points out that there is a lot of support between/among performers along with petty politics and juvenile feuds, “as befits a semi-marginalized, much-maligned industry.”

But she also welcomes new talent and advises them not to be “a doormat or a douche.”

“Show up well-groomed. Bring your favorite lube, robe, towel, reading material, test results and lunch. Have fun, and welcome,” Hartley writes.

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